How to defend drink driving charge

#1
My friend has received a scheduled court hearing letter for driving a motor vehicle with 244 mg per 100ml in her blood. I believe this carries a mandatory driving ban of 12 months. The letter appears to be encouraging her to submit an early guilty plea in exchange for a more lenient sentence. She has asked me to help her as she doesn't know what to do. There are several things about this letter that do not sit right with me:

1. The full offence wording places her driving on a named road, she was in a car park and backed into someone. The owner of the other car called the police to the scene.
2. The alleged offence took place on 17/08/17, the date on the letter is 07/02/18 (if she was a danger, why has it taken them so long to bring her to court?).
3. The toxicology report does not contain a location, or a crime number.

How should we proceed? The hearing is on 23rd February.
 
#2
A reading of 244mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood puts your friend in a sentencing bracket where they will face a ban of between 23 and 28 months. The court will also look to impose a community order alongside that ban. 12 months is the mandatory minimum for an offence of this type and the ban in this case will be longer due to the reading produced.

With respect to the specific queries I make the following observations:

1. The full offence wording places her driving on a named road, she was in a car park and backed into someone. The owner of the other car called the police to the scene.

This is unlikely to be as relevant as you believe. This element of the charge could be amended with the leave of the court.

2. The alleged offence took place on 17/08/17, the date on the letter is 07/02/18 (if she was a danger, why has it taken them so long to bring her to court?).

The prosecuting body have up to 6 months from the date of the offence to lay the charge. This was done just within that time frame in this case. The delay will not be factor when considering the reliability of the prosecution.

3. The toxicology report does not contain a location, or a crime number.

The toxicology report has to contain certain information relevant to the analysis and the continuity of that analysis. The information referred to is not necessarily as relevant within the body of that report.

Cases involving blood specimens can often be scrutinised with more vigour given that the analysis has taken place independent and additional stages have been involved. Should she be looking to defend the matter then it is important to discuss the case in more detail with a specialist solicitor.
 
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